Library planning outdoor event surrounding August 21 eclipse

"It is unlike any other experience you've ever had", Espenak, popularly known as Mr. Eclipse, told ABC News.

The night before, the pair will spend the night stargazing in a geodesic dome in the OR wilderness. In the small town of Madras, officials are holding a three-day viewing party running from August 18 through August 21 with a lineup of music and other entertainment.

If there's cloud cover (which is pretty likely off the OR coast), you'll also be able to see a reflection of the eclipse on the cloud bank below the plane.

This sighting is rare and lasts roughly two minutes, and you don't want to miss it.

Solar eclipses occur when our moon gets between the sun and our planet, obscuring the sun temporarily.

You must be in the path of totality to witness a total solar eclipse.

Although Colorado is not included among those states to experience a total eclipse it remains vital to educate yourself, as well as your family and friends, regarding how to protect yourselves from harm while enjoying this sometimes "once-in-a-lifetime" astronomical wonder. All these methods are unsafe for looking at an eclipse.

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Longway's events on The Day - many free - run from 11 a.m.to 4 p.m., all ages welcome, including telescope observing, live streaming from the path of totality in the planetarium dome, outdoor hands-on activities, and food available for purchase. The library's website says "The Watcher in the Woods" should end by 2:30 p.m.

Hawley, a physics and astronomy professor and the director of engineering physics at the University of Kansas, advised booking any travel tickets and hotel reservations way ahead of time and to expect plenty of traffic on the road. The moon appears largest in relation to the sun (1.06 times bigger) when the moon is at perigee (closest to earth in its orbit) and the earth is at aphelion (farthest from the sun in its orbit).

- Look for eclipse glasses or hand-held devices labeled as compliant with the ISO 12312-2 worldwide standard.

We've mapped out the best places with high vantage points and great views of the sky that will give you a clear view of the partial eclipse (if Karl plays nice, that is). Avoid glasses that are more than three years old and those with scratched or wrinkled lenses.

"Looking at the sun without eclipse glasses or solar viewers can cause "eclipse blindness" or retinal burns", said Nirav Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

- Never use homemade filters - such as potato chip bags, smoked glass, exposed film, DVDs or "space blankets" - and don't try viewing through any ordinary sunglasses. "It's one of the most remarkable, most spectacular naked-eye phenomenon that you can see".

  • Ismael Montgomery